Behind the Closed Eye
Francis Edward Ledwidge
I walk the old frequented ways
That wind around the tangled braes,
I live again the sunny days
Ere I the city knew.
And scenes of old again are born,
The woodbine lassoing the thorn,
And drooping Ruth-like in the corn
The poppies weep the dew.
Above me in their hundred schools
The magpies bend their young to rules,
And like an apron full of jewels
The dewy cobweb swings.
And frisking in the stream below
The troutlets make the circles flow,
And the hungry crane doth watch them grow
As a smoker does his rings.
Above me smokes the little town,
With its whitewashed walls and roofs of brown
And its octagon spire toned smoothly down
As the holy minds within.
And wondrous impudently sweet,
Half of him passion, half conceit,
The blackbird calls adown the street
Like the piper of Hamelin.
I hear him, and I feel the lure
Drawing me back to the homely moor,
I'll go and close the mountain's door
On the city's strife and din.
Francis Edward Ledwidge was an Irish war poet from County Meath in Ireland.. Sometimes known as the "poet of the blackbirds", he was killed in action at the Battle of Paschendaele in 1917.